Limoncello Extravaganza!


There seem to be two schools of thought on homemade limoncello.

1. The ” spend 2 hours of your life painstakingly peeling the skin off 20 lemons, (and just the skin, avoiding the white pith, which makes the drink bitter), and soak them in the liquor.”   This seems likely to end in a bitter hatred of ever making limoncello again, as well as carpal tunnel

2. Wrap the lemons in twine, and hang them above the alcohol.

Seems obvious which one to choose. Although I took a bit from both camps, peeling one lemon and putting the peel into the jar. I figure you cant have too much lemon.  An added bonus of the hanging method is that you have this cool trapeze hanging lemon contraption around the house to look at.

So this is how to do it.

What you need:

-lemons (preferably foraged from a friends backyard, mine came courtesy of Asiya Wadud and John Collins)

-Vodka or everclear (which is much harder to come by foraged, although one of my friends has been talking about making a still, so maybe the next batch)

-A jar with a sealable lid big enough for the liquor with a good amount of headroom

-String or twine ( I wouldn’t use anything made of plastic, because it seems like the fumes might eat through it…and that’s just nasty)

– 1-3 cups granulated sugar

-2 cups water

To do:

1. Pour liquor into jar


2. Use a veggie peeler to take  the skin off one lemon, being sure not to get any of the white pith.  Like I said, this is easier said than done, but its only one lemon so doesn’t take long.

3. Throw peels into alcohol.img_0115

4. Hang the lemons. This is the hard part. You need to devise a way to wrap the lemons up in twine in such a way that they will hang and not fall into the liquor.  The second option is to buy cheesecloth and hang them in that, but I like the aesthetic of the lemons hanging.done

6. Close the jar and wrap the excess string around the top of the jar.  Again, making sure the lemons are not touching the liquor, and tape the seal closed.

7. Leave for a month in a dark place, during which time the fumes from the liquor will suck the essence from the lemon, which I think is pretty cool.

8. We’ll talk about that on feb 20….


full disclosure: I would like to give credit where credit is due, I used recipes from as well as to create this wonderful beverage.


~ by foragesf on January 20, 2009.

3 Responses to “Limoncello Extravaganza!”

  1. Wow, I thought I had seen it all but I’ve never heard of hanging the lemons above the alcohol. I’ll be really interested to see if this actually works.

  2. Another option, surprisingly easier than it sounds: use a sharp chef’s knife. Cut off the top and botton of the lemon as if you were making a supreme (about 1/2″, the pointier parts). Stand the lemon on your cutting board and make a shallow slice through the skin vertically. Then put the lemon down and unroll the skin by holding your knife horizontal just inside that cut. The whole peel comes off in one piece. Clean up any remaining pith with a shallower slice or scrape with a paring knife.

    I made meyer lemon, sweet lime, and blood orange tinctures in less than an hour total using that style. About as much time as I wasted with a veggie peeler trying to do the first sweet lime.

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